Professional hunter Scott van Zyl mysteriously went missing earlier this month while on an African hunting expedition. Ironically, DNA tests that were conducted on three crocodiles have found that they had eaten the missing hunter.
Zyl made his living by obtaining wildlife trophies including zebras, wildebeests, giraffes, elephants, leopards and lions and then selling them to wealthy clients. Unfortunately, in a matter of strangely poetic justice, Zyl met his fate during such a trip when he was apparently eaten by his own prey.
His safari business ran under the name SS Pro Safaris and had a slogan which said, ‘Stop whining, go hunting.’ His business was mainly targeted towards people with money, and because of that, his fee was a hefty $9,000 dollars for one trip, which offered the promise of killing up to seven different animal species.
According to the BBC, Van Zyl was hunting on the Zimbabwe-South African border with another local tracker before they stumbled upon a pack of wild dogs. It was then that the two men were split apart from one another before his partner returned back to their camp and realized Zyl had gone missing.
Helicopters, trackers, and divers responded to the report of Zyl being missing. They searched and searched until they saw his tracks leading down the river. His backpack was located nearby. It was then that the trackers discovered the crocodiles, which the police and nature conservation services decided to kill in order to test the DNA found in their stomachs.
Of course, they later discovered this was, in fact, the case. According to officials at least four other people in the past month due to heavy rains which have forced the crocodiles to move further away from the rivers and closer to the paths of humans. While any death is unfortunate, so are the many deaths of endangered African animals that are killed for sport each year.